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Poor, but Sexy

Reflections on Berlin Scenes

Edited By Geoff Stahl

Poor, But Sexy: Reflections on Berlin Scenes offers readers a varied cross-section of the city’s scenes, providing a prismatic view of one of Europe’s mythical cultural capitals. The authors gathered here address a range of topics, including Turkish gay clubs, queer filmmaking, record labels, the legendary Russendisko, electronic music festivals, the city’s famous techno scene, the clandestine dimensions of its nighttime club culture, and the fraught emergence of the Mediaspree. With the shifting context of post-Wende Berlin its backdrop, this collection puts into relief an electic array of case studies, presenting to readers interested in exploring urban issues a number of critical and analytical perspectives on the city’s cultural life as it moves into the twenty-first century. Poor, But Sexy is an important contribution to the critical analysis of the cultural spaces in the city, and allows readers access to one of the few scholarly overviews of Berlin’s varied cultural life available in English.
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The Reassessment of all Values: The Significance of New Technologies and Virtual/Real Space in the Trans-National German Pop Music Industries: Christoph Jacke and Sandra Passaro

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CHRISTOPH JACKE AND SANDRA PASSARO

The Reassessment of all Values: The Significance of New Technologies and Virtual/Real Space in the Trans-National German Pop Music Industries1

Introduction: The Current Discussions Concerning Pop Music

Around thirty years ago, the Czech communication and media philosopher Vilém Flusser wrote about the ‘reassessment of all values’ (Flusser 1993 230). Time and again Flusser drew attention to the downfall of literary culture and the transition of our postmodern media societies in the direction of de-reification. Today, we refer to this process in an entirely un-apocalyptic and thus, for the time being, unbiased manner: digitalisation and virtualisation. But on closer examination it appears as if Flusser observed one of the most important areas of the creative industries and one that does not just pertain to literary and print culture. Rather, it is something that demonstrates very similar tendencies for the development of the pop music industries in Germany: pop music is to a certain extent becoming de-reified and debased by new media technology.2 Since the introduction of data compression techniques for compact discs, and certainly since the introduction of computer technology and the MP3 format, certain discourses within the scenery of pop music, ← 59 | 60 → and also in their reflection by professionalised social observers like journalists and academics, are detectable. These discourses accompany the processes of de-reification: sometimes euphorically, sometimes apocalyptically, but in any case critically.

Some typical questions and discussion points arising from this discourse, albeit at...

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